Colder air on the move; drier days for the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, cold weather is returning across the upper Midwest in the wake of a departing storm system. The storm, which is moving across Ontario, continues to produce some lingering snow in the vicinity of the Great Lakes. Near the storm’s trailing cold front, mild, showery weather is affecting the Ohio Valley.

On the Plains, colder air is replacing previously mild conditions. Although most areas are experiencing dry weather, isolated snow showers dot the northern and central High Plains. There is no snow on the ground across the southern half of the Plains, but a deep snow cover exists across the eastern Dakotas.

In the South, unwelcomed showers are returning across the central Gulf Coast States, where some rivers remain at their highest levels in decades. The Pearl River at Jackson, Mississippi, crested on Monday at 8.67 feet above flood stage—the third-highest level on record and the highest since May 25, 1983, when the river rose 11.58 feet above flood stage. At Bovina, Mississippi, the Big Black River—which crested 12.20 feet above flood stage on Sunday—also achieved its highest crest since May 1983. Elsewhere, warm weather prevails in the Southeast, accompanied by scattered showers.

In the West, patches of light snow are generally confined to the northern and central Rockies. Colder air is settling across the northern half of the region, but warmth lingers in California and parts of the Southwest. California’s long spell of dry weather has favored winter fieldwork but has left the Sierra Nevada snowpack barely one-half of average.

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